People Struggle for Survival: Nuclear Power Corporation of India Plays Hide and Seek
KUDANKULAM ANTI-NUCLEAR SATYAGRAHA, INDIA, 4 June 2012
by People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy – TRANSCEND Media Service
June 1, 2012 – The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) condemns the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) for refusing to share the basic safety-related reports with the citizens of India even after the Central Information Commission had instructed them to do so. The NPCIL was supposed “to provide an attested photocopy of the Safety Analysis Report and Site Evaluation Report after severing any proprietary details of designs provided by the suppliers to the appellant before 25 May, 2012.” They were also ordered by the CIC to post copies of these reports on their website as they do in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada by May 30, 2012.
But the NPCIL plays hide and seek with the lives and safety of millions of Indian citizens and is holding back vital information from them. They argue that the Safety Analysis Report (SAR) “is a ‘third party document’ and therefore, without the prior consent of the third party, the same cannot be shared with anyone.” Although they are holding the SAR in a ‘Fiduciary Capacity,’ the NPCIL has said it is “ready and willing to show the copy” of SAR to the CIC. But they cannot share it with the people of India. Obviously, the NPCIL is more interested in the safety and wellbeing of the Russian company and the Russian benefactors but not in the safety of the people of India.
Similarly, NPCIL has misinformed and misled the appellant, S. P. Udayakumar, about the Site Evaluation Report. In their review petition to the CIC, NPCIL claims that “the Public Authority has now formed an opinion that the ‘Site Evaluation Report’ for Reactor I & II at Koodankulam could be made available to the Appellant. Accordingly, a copy of the said ‘Site Evaluation Report’ has been sent to the Appellant” (page 3). On Page 5, it is repeated again that “the ‘Site Evaluation Report’ has already been sent to the Appellant on 17th May 2012.” The cover letter dated May 17, 2012 claims that “the copy of Site Evaluation Report for KKNPP 1 & 2 is enclosed.”
Eventually, we received the so-called Site Evaluation Report (SER) consisting of twelve (12) pages of hardly-legible typed-material without pages 1, 2, 3 and 13. Some nine days after sending us the “Site Evaluation Report,” the Managing Director of NPCIL, Dr. S. K. Jain, has confessed with a news agency: “The SER was prepared several years ago. It was a typed document and we photocopied it. The full report runs into several hundreds of pages containing several proprietary data. Hence, what will be given out will be the executive summary.” Thus NPCIL has been untruthful to the CIC, the appellant, and to the people of India.
The “Executive Summary” of the SER is outdated, incomplete and incoherent in many ways. It talks about sending the spent-fuel back to the Soviet Union; neglects serious hydrology, geology, oceanography and seismology issues that plague the KKNPP site; talks about taking Pechiparai dam water for fresh water needs; overlooks the population dynamics and so on.
The financial transactions with Moscow, the terms and conditions of the Russian loan, and the economic considerations of the KKNPP have all been updated from the 1980s. The technology of the KKNPP is said to have been upgraded to suit the trends of the 21st century. But the environmental and social aspects are deemed to be stationary by the NPCIL and they callously refuse to take the changed conditions into account. Instead of preparing a fresh and up-to-date report with complete and truthful information that tells the whole story, NPCIL plays hide and seek and tries to duck and dodge. This dangerous deception jeopardizes the lives and safety of millions of Indian citizens.
As Dr. Sreekumar Banerjee and Dr. S. K. Jain have retired and Dr. Kasinath Balaji gone on promotion, the present leadership of the DAE and the NPCIL appear to be washing their hands off their responsibility to safeguard the safety and wellbeing of the Indian citizens. The new leadership of these institutions does not seem to be any more responsible or accommodating of the Indian citizens’ aspirations for transparency, accountability and poplar participation and for fostering a new safety culture in our country. It is pertinent to note that the Supreme Court has recently chided the Indian government for not getting rid of the dangerous waste in the Bhopal gas tragedy for 28 long years. Let us put the lives and safety of the Indian citizens first, not foreign countries and corporations.
PMANE will intensify our struggle to get all the relevant information about the KKNPP for our safety and wellbeing and we will also take all possible legal steps to that effect.
People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)
Idinthakarai & P. O. 627 104
Tirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu
This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC 3.0 United States License.